#TAAP5 – Maurice Tan Art 3rd Judge Added to Unicorn Awards

Born in 1982, Maurice Tan is a self-taught abstract artist living in Toronto. He works with acrylic paint and mediums. His focus is on abstract paintings, as well as semi-abstract figurative and portrait paintings. For his abstract work, colors, layering, and texture are the main focal points. The themes of his abstract paintings include city life and nature. The way colors and texture blend harmoniously in nature is something that really inspires him. His city paintings show interesting colors and texture around Toronto, including the rustic look of old buildings in the downtown area. He finds inspiration while observing city life at dusk, when colors, light, and movement are at their peak. A surreal and dream like presentation can be found in Maurice's figurative and portrait work. Figures and faces are generally distorted. The distortions range from mild to extreme. He conveys different human emotions through distorted facial expressions. The focus is on the eyes in the majority of Maurice's portrait paintings. To the viewer, it presents the emotion and personality of each character. Maurice's work can be found in several galleries around Toronto as well as in private collections in Canada, U.S. India, and the U.K.

What do you do? 
Semi-abstract portraits and figurative work, as well as modern abstract paintings

What are you working on right now? 
A new series of portrait paintings

Why did you get started?
I started doing my art because it's the best way for me to express my emotions and thoughts from my mind. I've always been fascinated with the way we are able to transfer things from our minds onto the canvas.

Describe your creative process?
My creative process begins with basic colors, patterns, and/or textures as background. The main subject, is then painted in a way that comes naturally for me. I avoid accuracy and focus on the subject as a whole. Imperfections or accidental smudges for example, are fine with me, as imperfections will be found through out the painting. When viewed as a whole, everything comes together despite lack of accuracy. That smudge on the painting? It happened as I was creating it, so I tend to leave it. I don't like to spend too much time on any one area in the painting as I prefer to keep a steady flow from beginning to end, and I like my work to have somewhat of a dirty look. I stop when I feel the painting is complete. I usually know this because eventually I reach a point where I can't think of anything else to add to the painting.

Who is your art for? 
My art is for anyone who is looking for an alternative to what is considered beautiful art in a traditional sense. It is important because it's raw, without any filters placed on top. It's my feelings that I've translated onto canvas without doing anything extra to lighten the mood.

If you could tell your younger self anything what would it be and why? 
I would tell my younger self to begin working on my art asap. My only regret is starting my art late, at the age of 32. It makes me wonder where my style and techniques would be today, if I had started when I was a teenager.

What are your views on homelessness, mental health in the arts community?

I think it's very important to have more attention focused on homelessness and mental health in the arts community. It has been shown that art is very therapeutic for everyone, including those suffering from mental illness. There are many talented artists who happen to be homeless. Despite being homeless, they continue to create. Therefore, I believe that more shelters together with education would be very beneficial in helping the homeless.

What is your Instagram (or Portfolio) Url? 

www.instagram.com/mauricetanart/

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